Cover Letter Improvement

Thursday, September 17th, 2009 - cover letter, Employment, Job Advertisement, Job Application, job search, tutorial

Cover Letter Improvement


Louise, a receptionist, asks: I have draft a Cover Letter for a receptionists job at a GP surgery, and was wondering how could improve it? Here is the job description:

Must have a good telephone manner and have knowledge of computers. Previous reception experience would be an advantage as is previous work experience in a GP surgery. Duties include answering the telephone, taking/arranging appointments and some general administration work including filing records, test results and hospital letters. Will be writing short letters to inform or invite patients into the surgery and general data entry duties. This employer is looking for someone with a serious and mature attitude who is able to deal sensitively with patients queries.

Here is my cover letter:

Dear Sir/Madam,

Re: Position of Receptionist/Data Clerk

I am writing with regards to the above vacancy I have seen advertised on the Jobcentre Plus website on the 14th September 2009. I am very much interested in the role and therefore would like to be considered for the position.

As you will see on my CV I have gained considerable experience as a Receptionist/Administrator at ………. I have excellent computer and keyboard skills with good knowledge of all Microsoft Office packages. I am a quick learner and possess effective communication skills, both verbal and written. I have experience in a range of duties such as drafting letters, appointment booking, data entry and call handling. I enjoy working in busy environments and am a self starter requiring very little supervision.

I hope that this information is sufficient for your present purposes. Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

In answer:
Almost there, but a few things for improvement:

  1. I assume the experience at ….. (ie: name removed) was relevant to this job? ie, a doctors surgery? If not, you have to make the rest very compelling to get the job
  2. Ring up, find out who to address the letter to. Dear Sir/Madam = rejection!
  3. You see the order of the way they have noted the skills down in their advert (ie: telephone, computers, reception, doctors, etc). You need to echo that in your Cover Letter, as that is the priority list for the ideal job applicant. The simplest Cover Letter is two columns: You want, I have. Do not write it like that, but you get the idea
  4. Always close on a call to action, with something along the lines of: “I will call you in the next five days to discuss further.”

One last point, in that you could embellish this line to: “I enjoy working in busy environments and am a self starter requiring very little supervision, which you will find is supported by my references.” It just shows them you are thinking one step ahead

Good Luck!


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